Dredging part of Black River clean-up

Excavators working in the Black River.

The City has sent excavators rumbling into the Black River to dredge it as part of a clean-up project.

Almost completely engulfed in mud, they have been clearing the river basin on the corner of the M5 and Raapenberg Road.

The City’s catchment, stormwater and river management branch’s repair and maintenance team has been cleaning the river for the past seven months, according to mayoral committee member for water Zahid Badroodien.

“The work entails the removal of silt, vegetation, litter and solid waste. In addition, the repair and maintenance team is also undertaking dredging.”

Dredging had last been done eight years ago, he said.

“The stockpiled material is allowed to dry before it is transported to the appropriate disposal site.”

The Black River is a tributary of the Salt River. It flows past Observatory, Mowbray, Rondebosch, Bridgetown, Silvertown and Surrey Estate before merging with the Salt River, which flows into the sea at Paarden Eiland.

“This water body exists within a larger catchment area in which pollution is, unfortunately, occurring regularly, with a major driver being the sewer system that is used incorrectly leading to blockages/overflows,” Dr Badroodien said.

Ward 58 councillor Katherine Christie said everything from building rubble to fridges and couches had been pulled from the Black River.

“We strongly urge the public not to throw rags down the toilet as it causes blockages, and please don’t throw dead carcasses, fridges and bottles in the river.”

Ward 60 councillor Mark Kleinschmidt said the river’s general condition had also been a major concern because it was a habitat for flora and fauna and it ran through residential areas and the Rondebosch Golf Course. Litter booms had been deployed in sections of the river, he added.

Dr Badroodien urged residents to report overflows as soon as possible to www.capetown.gov.za/servicerequests or by emailing water@capetown.gov.za, calling 0860 103 089 or sending an SMS to 31373.

Stockpiled detritus dredged from the Black River.